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Why do airline clubs/lounges not allow outside food to be brought in?

Why do airline clubs/lounges not allow outside food to be brought in?

Old Jan 25, 04, 12:55 pm
  #1  
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Why do airline clubs/lounges not allow outside food to be brought in?

I can undertand why airline clubs/lounges which provide snacks/drinks to members don't want you taking food OUT of the club, but why do they have rules that say you shouldn't bring food INTO the club? Are they afraid you'll smell up the place with potentially noxious food fumes?

When I get to an airport early in anticipation of a long security line, and the line is shorter than expected, I may want to take advantage of the time to have a relaxing meal in a nice environment. I'd like to be able to pick something up at a stand (salad, sandwich, whatever) and then go to the lounge to eat it in relaxation (ideally accompanied by a drink or two from the free bar Why is this a problem?
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Old Jan 25, 04, 12:58 pm
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I think it is to prevent a stinky pigsty from developing. I have brought in subtle non stinky (cold) items on rare occasion w/o problem.
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Old Jan 25, 04, 1:11 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Eastbay1K:
I think it is to prevent a stinky pigsty from developing. I have brought in subtle non stinky (cold) items on rare occasion w/o problem. </font>
I totally agree. Would anybody like to see MickeyDs bags or Whopper wrappers all over the lounge? How would the lounges limit what can/can't be brought in? Once they said that you could, we all know what would happen.

At the same time I don't understand why the lounges in US don't have a
restaurant type set-up in a corner of a lounge. Charge if you have to, it doesn't have to be profitable, just enough to pay for the employees and suppliers, but have the option available. I know that some clubs offer snacks and some even sell sandwiches, etc..., but I would like a sit down dinner option.
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Old Jan 25, 04, 4:04 pm
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I totally support the ban on the outside food, because not everybody would be considerate and bring in a ham sandwich ow soemthing that doesn't stink up the place.

You know that if they did allow it somebody would bring in a fish thing, or fries, or something else that will totally stink up the place. Eat outside, then come in to relax.
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Old Jan 25, 04, 4:10 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by andrzej:
...At the same time I don't understand why the lounges in US don't have a
restaurant type set-up in a corner of a lounge. Charge if you have to, it doesn't have to be profitable, just enough to pay for the employees and suppliers, but have the option available. I know that some clubs offer snacks and some even sell sandwiches, etc..., but I would like a sit down dinner option.
</font>
Something like a lounge-version of Buy-on-Board? (because the likelihood of them offering it free=of=charge is nil)
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Old Jan 25, 04, 4:19 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by cordelli:
I totally support the ban on the outside food, because not everybody would be considerate and bring in a ham sandwich ow soemthing that doesn't stink up the place.

You know that if they did allow it somebody would bring in a fish thing, or fries, or something else that will totally stink up the place. Eat outside, then come in to relax.
</font>
Like fresh pasta with garlic and pesto

[This message has been edited by akhullar (edited Jan 25, 2004).]
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Old Jan 25, 04, 4:28 pm
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Well, it's not open to everybody, but BA, VS, SQ and EK all have pre-flight dining on certain routes...

But I agree, it would be a nice addition, but I can only see it working in certain environments. Airports do, of course, have their own food concessions. Some are better than others. Those which have nothing but the usual grim fast food merchants do leave a lot to be desired...
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Old Jan 25, 04, 4:30 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by cordelli:
I totally support the ban on the outside food, because not everybody would be considerate and bring in a ham sandwich ow soemthing that doesn't stink up the place.

You know that if they did allow it somebody would bring in a fish thing, or fries, or something else that will totally stink up the place. Eat outside, then come in to relax.
</font>
But that's why I think Andrzej's got such a good point. Eating in in most airports isn't fit for a dog - it's noisy, stressful, crowded, and often you can't even get a beer or a glass of wine. And in the club you've got the opposite (if you're lucky) - peace, quiet, drinks... only you'll have to starve instead. Why can't they offer you both in a corner and maybe even make a buck or two in the process. Many of them tolerate smoking in specific areas, so why not food?

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Old Jan 25, 04, 4:52 pm
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It's the stressful environment of the airport fast food restaurants (if you can call them that) that I try and avoid, complete with the screaming kids and people making messes all over.

Maybe lounges could consider having official rules along the lines of "No food with prominent smells that may be disturbing to others allowed," and "If you bring food items into the lounge, please clean up after yourself and throw used wrappers into the waste receptacles," (in case that's not already obvious to do).

They might even save $ on starving travelers eating too much cheese and crackers and nuts!
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Old Jan 25, 04, 6:30 pm
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silly me..I thought it was because they served eveerages and snacks they fall under the same rules as a restaurant - no outside food that they would be liable for if you got sick as it didn't come from their kitchen...
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Old Jan 25, 04, 7:31 pm
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I could be making this up, but somewhere along the way I got the impression that the ban related to the clubs' agreements with the airports (i.e., that the airports did not want people buying food and taking it into the clubs). Perhaps the restaurants are concerned that the clubs will take business away from them (e.g., you buy your whopper at BK, but go to the club for the "free" coke). Again, I could be making this up, but it got into my head somehow.
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Old Jan 25, 04, 7:50 pm
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I can't think of any food served at any US airport, or most international airports, that I would mind smelling inside an airport lounge. To me, coffee is much more pungent, and there's no shortage of that odor inside lounges.

C'mon, food even fast food always smells good!
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Old Jan 25, 04, 8:50 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by cawhite60156:
Something like a lounge-version of Buy-on-Board? (because the likelihood of them offering it free=of=charge is nil)</font>
the last time i was in the USAir Club (not sure if it was PIT or PHL), you could order food (for $) at the bar. There were a few plates covered with plastic wrap which showed the offerings, and a menu with additional items was also available.

it certainly looked tasty!
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Old Jan 25, 04, 8:53 pm
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RE the concern that serving food in clubs might deprive airport restaurants of revenue, what if you just bring your own food from home to enjoy in the club, because you wouldn't want to buy airport stuff anyway?

Seems like there could be a happy middle, especially with the paucity of nice restaurants at airports (even if you want to pay a premium, at least in the U.S., there is usually nowhere to escape)
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